With an eye for trade and invasion routes, the medieval Saxons sited their largest settlements near Transylvania’s mountain passes. Braşov, which they called Kronstadt, grew prosperous as a result, and Saxon dominance lasted until the Communist government brought thousands of Moldavian villagers to work in the new factories. As a result, there are two parts to Braşov: the Gothic and Baroque centre beneath Mount Tâmpa, which looks great, and the surrounding sprawl of flats, which doesn’t. The central square, surrounded by restored merchants’ houses, is now the heart of a buzzing city with a raft of exciting bars and restaurants.
Buses from the station will leave you near the central square, Piața Sfatului. Leading northeast from the square the pedestrianized Strada Republicii is the hub of Braşov’s social and commercial life.